11th June

More Epecuén

It appears I’m going to do daily updates (until I don’t) about this story. Yesterday I got a first 300 words down, and emailed them to my two collaborators (that may be the term, it may not, we’ll see how the process develops). After that I added another 100 words, and was quite pleased with the day. The story doesn’t yet have a clear direction, but it was nice to put something down to start thinking about.

Then I got Foy’s email:

Love Mark’s ideas about time and the effects of being frozen it in. Also, sublime landscape he’s thought up.

You mentioned you were considering themes like “Faded family glory, Failing love” and I think these would work well with your start. Reading the 300 words you gave us, it feels like a romance destined for failure (“It’s just the rain, Remigio. Go home,” “watched him turn the corner, moving out of sight” – so bittersweet!).
The general flavor that dissolves on the tongue after reading, is of The Impossible (2004 movie with Ewan McGregor *swoon*). There’s peace now but the reader knows something dark and overwhelming lies just beyond the light rain.

If you intend to include the natural disaster, it might be interesting to include the idea of “willful blindness.” (Fabulous TED talk about that here.) Though it seems like most of the villagers were aware and willing to leave, you can always introduce that one stubborn codger who isn’t. I would steer clear of a love triangle (getting to be a worn subject) but I can see unrequited love playing out well, here.

You might be able to get two novellas out of it: before the storm, after the storm.

Just some preliminary thoughts. Hope this was helpful!

Yes, that was helpful. The love triangle is being dropped. However, I was freaked by the idea of a two novella story. It is sitting vibrating in my ribcage like an overactive pacemaker. The longest thing I’ve ever written is 12k. Do I have the chops to do a couple of linked pieces that roll in for a combined 40k or so. All of a sudden part of me thinks Epecuén is a 2k monster from the deep horror story. But it’s the part I generally ignore.

I like the idea of the longer format, and it would allow me to play with some of the ideas Mark floated.

So, today, while resting because of the glandular fever, I had a little think further.

Yes, I want to do the novella’s.

Watch this space & someone start taking a book on when I fold and run.